Washington Redskins President and General Manager Bruce Allen speaks to reporters during an NFL football news conference at the Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta
December 31, 2014

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Full of promises and platitudes but short on specifics, Washington Redskins president and general manager Bruce Allen said Wednesday he would oversee a ''full evaluation'' of how the team operates after its sixth last-place finish in seven seasons.

''There are going to be changes in the way we do business,'' Allen said at his first news conference since August.

''It seems like a long time ago when we won the (NFC East),'' he said, ''and in football, it's like doggy years - it does multiply with each year.''

Shortly before Allen spoke, the Redskins announced that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett would be gone after five seasons. Allen vowed: ''There will be other changes.''

During a question-and-answer session that lasted about 40 minutes before being cut off by a team spokesman, Allen did not indicate what switches might be on the way for a club that is 28-52 during his five full seasons as GM. That includes a 4-12 mark in Jay Gruden's first season as an NFL head coach, which ended Sunday with a 44-17 loss to rival Dallas.

''We're going to take this time to start a full evaluation of everything and look into the way we acquire players; look into the way we coach players; look at the way players prepare in the offseason and in-season,'' Allen said. ''And make sure we correct the problems that occurred, make sure they don't happen again, and bring in the right people.''

Allen repeatedly mentioned injuries when discussing the Redskins' failings, including in reference to Robert Griffin III - ''Robert's under contract for us for 2015; I do believe he's a young man who has shown promise and can play in this league,'' he said - and free-agent flops from last offseason.

Allen said the Redskins will have ''at least $20 million'' in cap space this offseason.

He spoke glowingly of Gruden, saying he has full autonomy to make decisions about who plays.

''I believe he's the right leader. And I believe the players believe he's the right leader,'' Allen said. ''We just have to make sure we augment the roster with the right players and give him the talent that he needs.''

Allen said he would shoulder the blame for the span of losing because, ''I'm responsible for what happens with this organization.''

''If we can find a winning formula that's going to help this team win on the football field, we'll absolutely do it. And that includes me,'' Allen said. ''If it meant mowing that lawn out there every Tuesday, I would mow the lawn every darn Tuesday.''

In another odd non sequitur, Allen noted: ''I do think our charitable foundation does a fantastic job. We're winning off the field, but we've got to start winning on the field.''

Just about the only specific provided by Allen had to do with the timetable he predicted for getting the three-time Super Bowl champion franchise turned around after years of defeats and dysfunction.

''Over the next month or so,'' former Redskins coach George Allen's son averred, ''we'll have this going in the right direction.''

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